fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Ken Williams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Ken Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 09:44:54 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re:Market Opportunity for your :Provide e-catalog and brochure for
HowÂ areÂ you and work? HopeÂ you areÂ doing fine.
I am a consultant to a trading company based here in Lagos -Nigeria who interested in importing and marketing your products here and beyond. If you are interested in exporting them through them , please provide us with your e-catalog and brochure for evaluation as to give you details inquiry.
PleaseÂ Reply Through my email:
Thank you as I await your prompt and positive response.